Silverlight 5 beta launched

Microsoft has announced the first beta release of Silverlight 5 today. According to TNW, the beta download is available on the official Silverlight site.

The Silverlight 5 beta adds a number of new features and capabilities, which include, graphic improvements and performance improvements such as network latency reduction and 64-bit support.

The official site also shows off some of the main new features aimed at helping developers reach new heights in delivering rich Internet based applications. They include:

  • Hardware Decode and presentation of H.264 improve performance for lower-power devices to render high-definition video using GPU support.
  • TrickPlay allows video to be played at different speeds and supports fast-forward and rewind. At up to twice the speed, audio pitch correction allows users to watch videos while preserving a normal audio pitch.
  • Improved power awareness prevents the screen saver from being shown while watching video and allows the computer to sleep when video is not active.
  • Remote-control support allows users to control media playback.
  • Digital rights management advancements allow seamless switching between DRM media sources.

While the official beta site mentions additional features such as:

  • XAML Debugging with breakpoints for binding debugging
  • Implicit data templates for easy UI reuse
  • Double (and multi) click support
  • GPU-accelerated XNA-compatible 3D and immediate-mode 2D API
  • Low-latency sound effects and WAV support
  • Real operating system windows and multi-display support

Now live, the Silverlight 5 beta can be downloaded directly from the MSDN Microsoft Silverlight website. Meanwhile, Silverlight team member Tim Heuer has posted a guide to the new features that the Silverlight 5 beta has to offer.

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